Petroleum system naming

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Exploring for Oil and Gas Traps
Series Treatise in Petroleum Geology
Part Traps, trap types, and the petroleum system
Chapter Petroleum systems
Author Leslie B. Magoon, Edward A. Beaumont
Link Web page
Store AAPG Store

A unique designation or name is important to identify a person, place, item, or idea. As geologists, we name rock units, fossils, uplifts, and basins. The name for a specific petroleum system separates it from other petroleum systems and other geologic names.

Parts of a petroleum system name

Figure 1 How a reservoir rock name is selected.

The name of a petroleum system contains several parts that name the hydrocarbon fluid system:

  • The source rock in the pod of active source rock
  • The name of the reservoir rock that contains the largest volume of in-place petroleum
  • The symbol expressing the level of certainty

Figure 1 an example of a petroleum system name and its parts.

Level of certainty

A petroleum system can be identified at three levels of certainty: known, hypothetical, and speculative. The level of certainty indicates the confidence for which a particular pod of mature source rock has generated the hydrocarbons in an accumulation. At the end of the system's name, the level of certainty is indicated by (!) for known, (.) for hypothetical, and (?) for speculative.

The table below indicates how the level of certainty is determined.

Level of Certainty Criteria Symbol
Known A positive oil-source rock or gas-source rock correlation (!)
Hypothetical In the absence of a positive petroleum-source rock correlation, geochemical evidence (.)
Speculative Geological or geophysical evidence (?)

See also

External links

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